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Diploma 2022

As part of its annual exhibition of Master’s and Bachelor’s dissertation projects, the Department of Design at the ZHdK awards a special prize («Förderpreis») to one person each from the B.A. and M.A. programmes. The award comes with CHF 5,000 prize money per degree programme. It recognizes outstanding work which enriches the discipline through new perspectives and opens new avenues of discourse in an innovative way.

  • Förderpreis Bachelor Design: «Counterworlds» by Elay Leuthold, subject area Cast/Audiovisual Media. Different opinions, different values – co-existence is a huge challenge in today’s society. In the three-part documentary web series «Gegenwelten» («Counterworlds»), each episode confronts two people from Generation Z with their differences and similarities regarding sexuality, religion and equality.
  • Förderpreis Master Design: «Speaking Bread – Relationships beyond Materiality» by Carolina Márquez Bernard, subject area Visual Communication. The multidisciplinary research project «Speaking Bread» focuses on the relationships that emerge between human and non-human entities through the process of making artisan and traditional bread. It questions our way of engaging with the material world and highlights the importance of preserving the ways of working associated with craftsmanship.
  • Special Mention Förderpreis Bachelor Design: «Psychotic Bathtub – The Story of an Escalating Mind. And Ducks» by Natasha Sebben, Subject Area Game Design. «Psychotic Bathtub» deals with a psychotic illness in a very small space. We are in the bathtub as Ophelia and can interact with the environment, arguing with the plastic duck, drinking wine and letting in more water. Every interaction is in danger of escalating and has consequences – we drown the duck, the wine turns into poison and the bathroom floods. Thus, we as players navigate through the disorder towards different endings.

All 20 projects from the B.A. and M.A. programmes which were nominated for the Förderpreis are presented on the platform Showcase Design from September 2022.

The jurors

Prof. Dr. phil. Sophia Prinz, Professor of Design Theory and History, ZHdK
Sophia Prinz has been Professor of Design Theory and History at the ZHdK since August 2021 and teaches in the B.A. and M.A. programmes. Prior to this, she was Visiting Professor of Design Theory and Gender Studies at Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) (2018-2020). Apart from her academic work, she has been involved in numerous exhibition projects, including at Johann Jacobs Museum Zurich (2012-2021) and the Museum of Arts and Crafts Hamburg (MKG) (2015-2018). In her research she focuses on areas such as practice theories of perception and the interplay between society and design in the global modern era.

Mario von Rickenbach, Game Designer, Artist and Creative Coder
Mario von Rickenbach is a Zurich-based game designer and artist. After completing his B.A. in Game Design at the ZHdK, he co-founded Playables, a production company for interactive media, together with Michael Frei. Playables develop and publish playful projects at the interface between animation and game design. In different collaborations and in individual projects, Mario von Rickenbach has worked on award-winning games such as «KIDS», «Plug & Play», «Dreii», «Rakete» and «My Exercise». He is visiting lecturer at the École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL) where he teaches Interaction and Game Design. [Alumnus ZHdK]

Marina Bräm, Information Designer and Founder of viz_bybraem
To translate fact-based content into accessible and meaningful concepts – that is the objective and goal of Marina Bräm. At the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag she helped establish the use of large infographics and then headed the infographics department at Tamedia from 2016 to 2019. Until May 2020, she was digital design director for Tamedia’s digital paid media. Marina Bräm now runs her own company and works together with businesses, institutions and cantons. She teaches at different institutions and also mentors students at the ZHdK. [Alumna ZHdK]

Christian Kägi, Co-Founder and Head Designer at Qwstion
As co-founder and head designer at the Zurich-based bag label Qwstion, Christian Kägi focuses on the creation of versatile everyday products with an understated aesthetic and a minimal ecological footprint. For this purpose, he also develops his own materials together with his team. In 2018, for example, the company launched Bananatex®, a waterproof textile made from banana fibres. It is biodegradable and therefore completely recyclable. [Alumnus ZHdK]

The jury president

Corina Zuberbühler, Head of B.A. and M.A. Programmes & Deputy Head of Department

Elay Leuthold. Förderpreis Bachelor Design. © Johannes Dietschi, ZHdK.
Elay Leuthold. Förderpreis Bachelor Design. © Johannes Dietschi, ZHdK.
Carolina Marquez Bernard. Förderpreis Master Design. © Johannes Dietschi, ZHdK.
Carolina Marquez Bernard. Förderpreis Master Design. © Johannes Dietschi, ZHdK.
Natasha Sebben. Special Mention. © Johannes Dietschi, ZHdK.
Natasha Sebben. Special Mention. © Johannes Dietschi, ZHdK.